Title:  Catching Fire
Author:  Suzanne Collins
Release date:  September 1, 2009
Publisher:  Scholastic Press
Pages:  400
Genre:  Young Adult, Dystopian fiction
Source:  Library

Words cannot possibly express my joy at finally finding myself on top of my library’s hold list for Catching Fire.  It seemed like everyone had read it before me, and I just NEEDED to find out what was going to happen to Katniss.  So, YAY, Catching Fire! 🙂

For those of you who have read these books, you already know the plot.  For those of you who haven’t, I’m just going to say – go read The Hunger Games.  Now.  I’m really not kidding.  These books really are as phenomenal as everyone says, and I can’t recommend them enough.

Catching Fire definitely met any expectations I may have had.  I’ve seen mixed reviews for this second installment in the series, but I have to say that I may have enjoyed the experience of reading this better than The Hunger Games.  (I said might.  I’m still not sure which one I prefer.)  The first book was more of a thrill ride, definitely, but I felt that this one had a bit more substance mixed in with the crazy, twisting plot.  I loved learning a little more about the different districts in Katniss’s world, and the book definitely had a creepy, ominous feel to it that haunted me throughout my reading.  It was clear that there was so much riding on Katniss’s actions, and not only that, but there was a lot more going on underneath the surface that even Katniss wasn’t aware of.  I liked the feeling of trying to figure stuff out along with her.  Although the first book was more insanely suspenseful, this one had more secrets and plot points were much less straightforward.  I really liked that.

I always say that my favorite thing about series books is getting to know the characters, and that was definitely the case with Catching Fire.  I am just as big a fan of Katniss as I was before, if not more having read the second book, and it was great to get more invested in the Katniss/Peeta/Gale love triangle.  I actually would have liked to hear more from Gale – I feel like he’s one of the only characters that could be developed much further than he is.  Most of the rest of the important characters are developed pretty well and are somewhat complex and interesting.  But not Gale – to me, he’s very one-note and I just think Collins could do a lot more with him.

Anyway.  Catching Fire, of course, made me extremely excited for the third book in the series.  The cliffhanger at the end of this one was seriously crazy.  What is Suzanne Collins trying to do to her readers?! 

So, awesome.  I loved Catching Fire just as much as The Hunger Games.  This series is so much fun and I really can’t recommend it highly enough.  Read it!!